Tributes paid to respected horseman Mike Bloom
Hundreds gathered at Wymondham Abbey to pay their last respects to a horseman and farmer who enjoyed success as both a rider and trainer.
Mike Bloom, who died on April 7 aged 82, was described as a 'wonderful man who gave so much fun to so many and always retained a marvellous twinkle in his eye'.
In front of a packed congregation friend Jim Papworth said that growing up as the son of a great horseman, Mr Bloom's career path was destined.
His parents Jack and Beryl made the most of the link between hunting and steeplechasing with Jack riding in the 1949 Grand National, coming seventh on his horse Tonderman.
Their son started riding at a young age and was soon show jumping, point-to-pointing and steeplechasing himself.
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He rode 150 winners at point-to-point and over 100 at National Hunt.
One of the horses he trained won the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown.
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He met his wife Jenny at a point-to-point at Marks Tey and they had two children, Caroline and Nibby, who also enjoyed considerable success on the racecourse.
With their home and yard in Wymondham Mr Bloom was involved with the Dunston Harriers, which started out as the Norwich Staghounds, for 70 years.
He also competed at the Royal Norfolk Show and enjoyed some considerable success in the show-jumping ring on a horse called Frosty Morn. He stewarded the section for many years and his long service was recognised with a life vice-presidency when he retired.
As a farmer his real love was his sheep flock and he was a regular at Norwich Market, often seen enjoying a joke with friends at the bar in the Norfolk Dumpling following a sale.
During the service his grandson Sam Bloom read a moving poem by Rudyard Kipling called Four Feet which contained the words: 'Day after day, the whole way through, Wherever my road inclined, Four Feet said 'I'm coming with you', And trotted along behind'.
Mr Papworth said there were few in Norfolk who were held in such 'respect, affection and friendship' as Mike Bloom.
Donations in his memory are being collected in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, c/o RJ Bartram & Son, 42 Fairland Street, Wymondham, NR18 0JS.